It’s rare that New York state government devises a sensible, cost-efficient solution to a problem. A new plan to merge Centers for Excellence in Albany and Canandaigua to focus on thriving nanotechnology is a refreshing break from the norm.
Gov. David Paterson and the Empire State Development Corp. deserve credit for forging the strengths of both facilities to better position New York as a global leader in high technology.
Frankly, there is little, if anything, not to like about plans for bringing the Infotonics Technology Center under the wings of the more successful Center for Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology. In fact, gubernatorial nominees Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino should commit now to not disturbing the merger should either take office in January.
Since five regional centers opened a decade ago, the one in Albany has led the pack. It has attracted state and private investments of more than $1 billion. Meantime, the Canandaigua facility has had only limited corporate investment in its efforts to help companies transition new technologies from concept to manufacturing.
All of that will change under the merger. For one thing, the state will kick in $10 million to connect the Albany and Canandaigua facilities, as well as corporations such as Kodak. The focus will be on applying extremely small technology developed in Albany to computer chips fitted with mechanical capability built in Canandaigua.
Going this route makes all the more sense given the absence of “common platforms” in development of hi-tech products such as iPhones. Companies need the infrastructure, which the merger can provide, in place to forge ahead as competitors. It helps too that the federal government has made nanotechnology a top funding priority.
And the merger promises new jobs in the region. A win all around.